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To put 4.7 TWh into perspective

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• Streaming Netflix: 4.7 TWh could binge Netflix for 89,667 years one hour a day.

• Powering Luxembourg: In 2022, Luxembourg needed 6.13 TWh of electricity to run its entire nation.

• Lighting LEDs: Imagine illuminating 39,166,666,667 LEDs for a whole day.

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Giving batteries a Second Chance

One step towards a more sustainable future lies not only in producing new batteries, but also in maximizing the potential of existing ones. This is where "second life batteries" come into play. Most people think that a battery's effectiveness ends after its first life cycle, but the reality is that many batteries can retain up to 80% of their capacity after their first life cycle. These batteries could therefore continue to be used for stationary energy storage.

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The Need and Opportunity

The potential for second-life batteries is significant, especially when it comes to electric vehicle batteries. Typically, EV batteries are replaced after eight to ten years of use because they no longer meet the demanding performance requirements of a vehicle. However, these batteries often have a large proportion of their capacity intact. Instead of recycling batteries, they can be reused for other applications, such as stationary energy storage, extending their life and minimizing waste.

A key challenge in utilizing second-life batteries is determining the exact capacity and identifying which batteries meet the criteria for a second life. This requires innovative and accurate analytics that can assess the battery’s condition and its potential for further usage. Startups offering smart and efficient solutions to this problem represent a compelling investment opportunity, as this market is poised for significant growth.

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Sooner or later: Recycling

To meet the demand for lithium-ion batteries recycling processes and the recovery of raw materials are necessary. In fact, some see recycling as more forward-thinking than the Second Life trend. It's important to recover the raw materials from the batteries. A 50kW car battery contains around eleven kilos of cobalt, six kilos of lithium and a whopping 32 kilos of nickel. Reusing these materials contributes to a circular economy where waste is minimized, and the value and life span of resources is maximized.

Recycling may indeed become a rational consideration after the initial use of a battery. This is because a battery's capacity can decline significantly and unpredictably after extended use. Battery capacity does not decline in a linear fashion, and there is currently no reliable way to ensure that this decline is linear or otherwise predictable. This decline becomes particularly pronounced when the capacity falls below a certain threshold, commonly referred to as the "knee point. Definitions of this term may vary, but it typically means that capacity declines slowly for most of the battery's life, and then accelerates rapidly in its final stages. As a result, the use of Second Life batteries may not always be a sustainable solution, and recycling may be an attractive alternative. Ultimately, whether at the end of their first or second life, batteries will inevitably need to be recycled - it is a necessity that will manifest itself sooner or later.

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What are we looking for at ENV?

As always: We are looking for digital solutions around the asset-roll-out – in this case the assets are batteries. Due to the large battery infrastructure roll-out we believe that startups that make batteries more durable, efficient, and safe will thrive. As investors, it's crucial to support pioneering startups that develop data-driven technologies and systems to exhaust the potential of reusing batteries. As CVC of an asset-owner and operator we do not focus on hardware-only solutions.